Can I Get an Invisible Force Field–PLEASE?

The only moment she actually sat still during the whole event…

I find myself often wishing for an invisible force field–a secret, portable, unseen play pen if you will. I literally have this thought nearly every time we’re in public, and I’m pretty sure that if I could invent such a thing, I’d be an instant millionaire. I mean, what parent (what mother) wouldn’t pay handsomely for a safe, contained space where her kid can go wild while she gives a friend her full attention for 20 minutes at lunch? Needless to say, getting Emma Vance to sit still these days is almost impossible, and in the moments when it’s unavoidably necessary, it requires a lot of attention, toys and snacks. Whenever Ryan and I eat out with her in tow, it feels as if an hourglass is flipped over the moment we sit down, and with each grain of fallen sand, we’re racing toward a major melt down–and by “major melt down,” I’m referring to Ryan and I, not Emma Vance. :)

E.V. is such a wiggle worm these days that it’s not unusual for the gym daycare workers to report that “she’s too adventurous of a climber for her size” and for the preschool teachers to tell me that “she’s Miss Busy.” So, when I think of public activities for us to do, I try always have to evaluate the level of sit-still-ness it requires. (The lower the level, the more likely it is that we’ll go.) For whatever reason, I had a moment of insanity earlier this week and decided that going to the local library’s storytime was a great idea for us. Not. The sit-still level of a storytime always tips the scale, AND Emma Vance was feeling particularly wild that morning. (NOT a good combination!) There was a perfectly nice, very shy little girl a few months older than E.V. sitting quietly in her mother’s lap next to us, and as E.V. wiggled and wormed her way free for the billionth time during the singing portion, I smiled uncomfortably at the woman and shrugged. Oh, well. Thankfully there were some other crazies in the crowded room, and as the storytime dragged on, a lot of kids got restless and began to wander. At one point, I decided to let Emma Vance walk around with the other monsters, and eventually she landed on another abandoned mother’s lap. I smiled and signaled that she was mine, and the lady hung out with my not-at-all-afraid-of-strangers child for a few minutes. Thankfully she managed to find her way back to me in time for the book reading portion, and since Emma Vance is OBSESSED with books these days, it was the only time she was perfectly still…laying on her stomach with her face in her hands like a little teeny-bopper listening to a dreamy boy band’s record. Oh, my silly child. Once the story had been read, though, she was restless again, and we made an early exit. As we scooted past the remaining mothers and kids on our way to the exit, I couldn’t help but wonder for the billionth time, “If only I had an invisible force field…”

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